The largest police force deployed in any city in the country, one that boasts of three women deputy commissioners of police and is touted as a ‘women-friendly force’ where female beat constables are getting paramilitary training; on the face of it, Delhi Police has it all.
However, despite the many feathers in its proverbial cap— the Delhi Police boasts of having executed a decline of almost 11% in the number of rape cases reported in the city till June 30 this year—Delhi has seen at least one rape every day.
“While 289 cases of rape had been reported till June 30 last year, this year, the number has fallen to 258 cases— a steep decline of almost 11%,” said Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta at his half-yearly performance review on July 2.
The Commissioner’s assurances about having made the capital a safer place for women, with two dedicated police stations in Delhi University’s south and north campuses being the latest offering notwithstanding — his force still seeks succour in ‘known’ territory when faced with five cases of sexual assault reported within hours of each other between July 1 and 3.
“In all the cases, the victims were known to the perpetrators. The police have no role in curbing such incidents because a known person’s behaviour in the presence of another known person is not within the ambit of policing,” maintained Rajan Bhagat, additional DCP and Delhi Police Spokesperson.
Quoting figures from the report of the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) report for the year 2009, a senior police officer maintained that the perpetrators were known to rape victims in 1,569 cases reported in 35 cities across the country. This, in effect, means that the capital reported the largest number of “incest” crimes in the country.
Further, in their defence, the Delhi Police are wont to quote the latest ‘crime per lakh population’ figures of rape, which put the capital at the last spot, with 3.09%, when compared with figures from other capital cities around the world.
However, a closer look reveals that even when looked at from this “internationally accepted standard of gauging crime”, rape cases have been consistently increasing year after year.
While the said figure for rape stood at 2.09% in 2009, it rose to 2.80% in 2010. In just half a year, it now stands at 3.09%.
“Of the 258 cases of rape reported thus far this year, the perpetrators were known to the victims in a whopping 96.25% cases. All the accused have been arrested,” Bhagat said.